Highmark headquarters, Downtown.

Highmark Health employs 35,000 people, runs 13 hospitals, has 2500 physicians and provides health insurance for 5.6 million people.

It’s a lot to keep track of.

If there’s one company that has the capacity to deal with all that information, it’s Google.

So Highmark Health is rolling out what they’re calling the Living Health Dynamic Platform, powered by Google Cloud. It’s a six-year plan to re-engineer the clinician-patient relationship, transforming it into a more personalized, tech-forward experience. One goal is to provide new insights into a patient’s long-term health story.

Another goal is to make doctors’ lives easier by freeing them from time-consuming administrative work while providing them with more timely data to act on.

“The Living Health model is about improving each person’s health and quality of life every day,” says Dr. Tony Farah, chief medical and clinical transformation officer for Highmark Health. “The traditional health care system is too fragmented and for the most part reactive. The Living Health model takes the information and preferences that a person provides us, applies the analytics developed with Google Cloud, and creates a proactive, dynamic and readily accessible health plan and support team that fits an individual’s unique needs.”

About 125 new jobs will be created at Highmark Health to support the development of the Living Health Dynamic Platform. They will include roles in app development, cloud-based computing, analytics and user experience design.

Google’s Pittsburgh office.
Google’s Pittsburgh office.

It helps that the VP of Industry Solutions for Google Cloud, Andrew Moore, works out of Pittsburgh’s Google offices.

“This partnership represents a significant opportunity to improve health care experiences and outcomes for millions of people,” says Moore. “The combination of Highmark Health’s deep understanding of patient behavior and clinical best practices, with Google Cloud’s technology capabilities, including artificial intelligence and machine learning expertise, will accelerate access to the most cutting-edge tools for people to improve their health.

“This is the kind of transformational work that makes me excited to get out of bed each day,” adds Moore.

Andrew Moore. Photo courtesy of Highmark.

The traditional healthcare system is fragmented, with a lot of information set apart in silos from other information that could be useful and relevant for a patient.

“Google Cloud has a bunch of machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities for doing things like finding patterns in data, which may indicate something’s not safe, or there’s an opportunity for improving something,” explains Moore.

“My personal favorite part is, by using artificial intelligence, you can make sure that we are having advanced, very careful, almost superhuman decision-making being applied to ensure things are being kept safe.”

Michael Machosky

Michael Machosky is a writer and journalist with 18 years of experience writing about everything from development news, food and film to art, travel, books and music. He lives in Greenfield with his wife, Shaunna, and 10-year old son.